UK lawmakers reject lowering voting age for EU referendum

AP News
Posted: Dec 08, 2015 12:04 PM

LONDON (AP) — British lawmakers have rejected proposals to give 16- and 17-year-olds the right to vote in a major referendum to decide whether the country should leave the European Union.

The unelected House of Lords has backed lowering the voting age from 18 to extend the franchise for the referendum, which is scheduled to take place before the end of 2017.

But the proposal was rejected by lawmakers in the House of Commons in a 303-253 vote on Tuesday.

Cabinet Office Minister John Penrose said that it would be wrong to change the "tried and tested" general election franchise for a single poll.

The under-18 vote was influential in last year's Scottish independence referendum, when 16- to 17-year-olds were allowed to vote for the first time.